Vliegen/Gille Lift Maiden ATP Tour Trophy In Båstad
Belgian duo triumphs in first ATP Tour final
Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen captured their first tour-level trophy as a team at the Swedish Open on Sunday, recovering from a set down to beat third seeds Federico Delbonis and Horacio Zeballos 6-7(5), 7-5, 10-5.
The Belgian tandem saved three of four break points and claimed 77 per cent of first-serve points (48/62) to clinch the title after one hour and 48 minutes. Two months ago, Gille and Vliegen also claimed silverware on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning each of the eight sets they contested on the clay at the Bratislava Open.
“I am super happy," said Gille. "It is just something we didn't expect at the beginning of the week. We haven’t played many ATP Tour events yet and… we felt good right from the start, started winning matches and then, all of a sudden, we are getting the title. It is just an unbelievable feeling and I am very happy.”
Gille and Vliegen were forced to battle through three Match Tie-breaks throughout the week in Båstad, having also rallied from a set down to beat Sander Arends and David Pel in the first round and top seeds Roman Jebavy and Matwe Middelkoop in the semi-finals.
It is a first tour-level trophy for No. 76 Gille and No. 58 Vliegen, who are both currently competing at career-high positions in the ATP Doubles Rankings. Gille and Vliegen’s previous best performance on the ATP Tour came at the inaugural Cordoba Open in February, where they reached their first ATP Tour semi-final (l. to M. Gonzalez/Zeballos).
“We have been playing together a long time, progressing through Futures, Challengers and occasionally ATP Tour events, but [I have] no words yet. We need some time to process this,” said Vliegen.
Competing in their first tour-level event as a team, Delbonis and Zeballos were bidding to lift their first team trophy. Their only prior appearance as a partnership came at Challenger level in 2011, where they reached the championship match in Marburg (l. to Emmrich/Phau). Zeballos was also aiming to lift the Båstad doubles trophy for the second straight year after triumphing in 2018 alongside Julio Peralta.
Gille and Vliegen gain 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points and share €29,650 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Delbonis and Zeballos earn 150 points and split €15,200.